Someone to talk with


To support vulnerable families and children during the COVID-19 pandemic, Viva India is distributing food relief to daily wage earners and migrant workers in five cities.

Those receiving relief have lost their jobs, and are fearful of the present situation and uncertain about their future. Their children’s development is being adversely affected due to schools’ closures and restrictions in playing in common areas.

Our Viva staff have been concerned that, in this unprecedented situation, violence against children and abuse may increase at home.

In these highly challenging times, Viva is addressing the psychosocial anxiety among families and children by rolling out the COVID-19 phone call family mentoring programme.

This programme is an amalgamation of materials and guidelines from WHO and UNICEF.

Trained mentors use online resources and phone calls to speak with adults and children about their wellbeing and safety. We aim to make 4,000 mentoring phone calls over the next three months.

As a result of the calls, one family has agreed to share each other’s feelings not only to help manage anger but also to motivate, encourage and strengthen one another. Other parents told us they will use more positive discipline to boost their son’s self-esteem in these stressful times.

One of our biggest challenges is technology. Several mentors don’t have computers in good enough condition to view training material and go through audio-visual presentations. They are using their mobile phones, which have their limitations. Therefore, we are looking to source computers.

Can you support the phone mentoring programme in India and in other parts of the world this autumn? Please give at

By Gary Kamaal, Viva’s India Director